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Discovering NYC through OHNY


It is ironic that Open House New York, whose mission it is to uncover and share the best of New York City’s built environment, systems, and institutions, is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Do you know about OHNY?


Founded post-9/11, when access to much of the city was closed off due to increased security, OHNY was conceived to advocate for openness as a defining principle of civic life; to open the doors to the people, places, projects, systems and ideas that make our city unique. I joined the Board of Directors in 2020 just as the city, once again, was shutting it doors to the vibrant institutions and civic engagement that characterizes New York.


But both NYC and OHNY have come roaring back!


The OHNY Spring Gala was held last month to honor the design-build team behind the Rooftop Pavilion and Farm at North Javits with the Open City Award. Javits’ CEO, Alan Steel, accepted the award on behalf of the impressive team.


I had multiple privileges this evening: support the event, host a table, and help plan the menu. Our culinary team and GP event planner Morgan Golumbuk took inspiration from OHNY’s directive to create an outdoor picnic feeling at an indoor evening gala! We did just that. As the sun set to the west, and the Rooftop Farm gleamed to the east, guests sat down to a family style meal.

An OHNY event is always unusual. Supporters are NY’ers of all ages and walks of life, though it draws deeply from the professions that contribute to the ‘built environment’ – the architects, designers, builders, engineers, and experts in urban and civic affairs. It is a love fest of city life and feeds our hunger to know more about how the city functions, whom it serves and how it evolves.

April 18th was a celebration on a rooftop farm, in midtown Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River, on top of a convention center. Par for the course for an organization that continues to connect all of us to the beauty and wonder of our home. Learn more: New York is Open!